The forecast in Australia: Hot, hot, hot—and getting hotter.
As a record-breaking heatwave hovers over many regions and territories (which are in their summer months now), the continent’s Bureau of Meteorology has added two new colors to the weather map to reflect the rising mercury.
The map currently shows the weather in orange tones at the top, which indicate temperatures 40 to 48 degrees Celsius. But forecasts are predicting off-the-charts weather. As a result, pink and purple will now cover temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius—should it climb that high.
For those rusty on the temperature conversion, that is a sweat-inducing 122 degrees Fahrenheit. (The record-setting temperature of 50.7 set in 1960 has, thankfully, still not been broken.)
"The forecast coming from the bureau's model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees," said David Jones, head of the bureau's climate monitoring and prediction unit.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a "dome of heat" over Australia is contributing to the record-breaking weather, which has gone on for six straight days with average maximum temps above 39 degrees Celcius (102 Fahrenheit). The trend seems likely to continue.
Adding to the misery, the searing heat is also fueling wildfires that continue to rage in southeastern Australia.
"You don't get conditions worse than this," Shane Fitzsimmons, New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner, told the Associated Press.
Australia isn’t the only place battling record high temperatures. Last year, the United States had its warmest year on record.
- Natural Phenomena